Sure, he’s a basketball player, but with a documentary about his life coming out October 4 and a YouTube channel that gets up to 3-4 million views per video, Jeremy Lin is also one of Asian America’s biggest media stars.
by Ada Tseng
When he’s not on the basketball court, it seems like it always takes some convincing to get Jeremy Lin into the spotlight. The production of Linsanity: The Jeremy Lin Story, the documentary which began filming in 2010 and opens in select theaters October 4, had a slow start because at first, Lin didn’t understand the merits of sharing his private life to the public when he could just be focusing on his training. It wasn’t until after his rookie year, when he became more used to cameras, that he agreed to be filmed — figuring that at worst, the footage would be something to show his kids and grandkids one day. Little did he know what 2012 would bring.
Even during the press interviews for Linsanity: The Movie, a full year after “Linsanity” exploded and died back down, Lin doesn’t seem entirely comfortable with the onslaught of attention. He’s completely considerate, accommodating and polite, like the perfect Asian American role model he is, but it’s clear he’s just going through the motions. I ask about the Linsanity red carpet premiere he’ll be attending that night, after an entire day of back-to-back press interviews, and he looks a little pained. “Have I done a red carpet before?” he tries to remember. “Yes, and you hated it,” someone from his team reminds him. Oh yes, he smiles. He did hate it. Probably so much that he blocked it out of his memory. All the interviews kind of blur together, he admits. Oddly enough, Jeremy Lin’s discomfort only adds to his mythical aura as the ultimate underdog who has not lost his humility despite his success.
So how did Jeremy Lin become a YouTube star in his spare time? While he’s only made 13 videos, 10 of them have over 1 million views, with the most popular being his “How to Get Into Harvard ft. Ryan Higa” video, with a whopping 4,736,741 hits to date.